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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Doodle Buddy & Shared Writing: Tele-Therapy or Home

Doodle Buddy & Shared Writing:  Tele-Therapy or Home

#2 Tip for Using the Doodle Buddy App:

Link to Doodle Buddy & Shared Writing

Our Literacy Group studies various countries, learning about geography, history, food, habitat, culture, etc.
We were studying Costa Rica and had watched a video about animals in Costa Rica

Each student chose an animal from the video (using partner assisted scanning), then used their AAC systems to choose actions, describing words, etc. to make a collaborative story

In real time, during the zoom session, I captured their story, finding a background and writing their story through text and stickers

Word Search - AAC Style

Time to play Word Search! 
By Deanna Wagner, Language and Literacy AACtivist

Matching a word to a picture is an important skill for people who use AAC.  The words on a communication system are represented visually with picture supports for individuals who are learning to spell, and as a way to get to words faster than spelling them letter by letter. But if you think about it, a picture can be used for lots of different words. Instead of matching one word to one picture, let's play a game of finding many pictures that go with the same word. 
Word Search using tools in your AAC system.

First, let's search for a couple of words in the AAC system. The most fun ones are used as a way to describe or comment. On Halloween, we chose the words SCARY and SILLY. This game works with 2 words, but you could also add another, like FUN!  

 Write your word on a Post-it note.

Once you find the word in the AAC system, look at how it is spelled and write it down on a Post-it note. Having a reminder of what we are looking for helps us as we start the game. We can even model the word LOOK as we check the word on the Post-it and start our next search for the word. 

Word Search for examples of times when the word could be used.

Now we need to pick another place to search for the word. You can search in a book, around the house, at the mall, or on the internet. We looked around some stores and did a Google images search, using "Halloween costume + SCARY/SILLY/FUN."

Once we collected some possible examples we talked about what we found.  We took pictures so we could show other people what we found. We used our phones and we used iPads with screen captures. We even sent pictures to each other using AirDrop.  Believe it or not, different people had different ideas about what is scary or silly! To see if somebody else can guess which picture is the best choice for one or the other, ask somebody! Practice asking, "Which one do you think XX decided is SILLY?" Try pointing to some of the words on an AAC system when you talk.  Don't worry if you can't find all the words to make the sentence, just point to a few of them.  

Who will you play Word Search with? This game works with different people, at different times, and using different devices. Playing the game more than once helps us memorize where to find words and integrate examples of how to use them. You can even use a poll on Facebook to ask all your friends.  Once you have examples you can also use them to make your own book. Here is a screen capture from the book we wrote. 

 Make a book using the words you found!

Have fun and remember to stay SILLY! 
It makes leaning so much more interesting!!!

🖨 Download this post as a PDF file for printing here.

For more information on AAC systems, check out these links for apps that include Word Search tools!

Avaz - https://www.avazapp.com/products-avaz-aac-app/ 
CoughDrop - https://blog.mycoughdrop.com 
Crescendo 60 on Proloquo2Go – www.assistiveware.com
Grid with SuperCore - https://thinksmartbox.com 
LAMP Words For Life (Full) or Unity – www.aaclanguagelab.com 
Speak For Yourself - https://www.speakforyourself.org/features/ 
Snap + Core First – www.mytobiidynavox.com  
Talk Suite (formerly titled TotalTalk) - link to be released soon!
TouchChat WordPower 60 Basic – www.satillo.com/chatcorner 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Flap Presser 'Switch' - Back to the Future!

Flap Presser 'Switch' - Back to the Future!


Back in the day, I was an SLP working with 45 students at the 'Poor-But-Honest' Center.  Our technology budget was . . . minimal.  So, we figured out how to make things . . . Decades before the 'Maker Movement'!  The flap switch shown below is clearly well-used (circa 1988), but helped many students access their computers!  The link below shows how to use what you (hopefully!) have in your home or apartment to make a flap switch that will press down one key on a computer keyboard.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Doodle Buddy app: AAC & Literacy: Tele-Practice or Home!

Doodle Buddy app:  AAC & Literacy:  Tele-Practice or Home!

For years, I have found the Doodle Buddy app to be very helpful during therapy and classes.  Now I'm finding that it's terrific for teletherapy as well.

I've made a short slide show to show some ways that I'm using it.  I'm going to add a new activity every few days, and give a new link!  Come back often!


Doodle Buddy Handout 1

Saturday, March 28, 2020



Pinterest Boards:  Caroline Musselwhite 


SOCIAL SCRIPTS & PRANKS:  Supporting Emerging AAC Communicators

This book by Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite provides strategies and samples of co-planned sequenced prank Social Scripts for students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Multiple strategies are offered to support teams in using pranks for engagement, peer interaction, and learning language, including tools for pranks; customizing planning, supporting, and choosing prank scripts; and strategies to support core language.  Sample scripts are shared for 17 pranks, with multiple examples across a range of language systems, for a range of target students, and for both step-listing devices and devices with robust vocabulary.  Resources and references are also provided.

Teachers Pay Teachers: Caroline Musselwhite

Shared Links: Supports During the Pandemic


Here are a few links to support students with autism spectrum disorder during this pandemic.  Thank you to Christy Clawson for providing these links.

How to Calm a Child with Autism

Create a Sensory Safe Yard for Children with Special Needs

Sensory Processing Treatments

Estate Planning for Parents of Kids with Autism

Classoom Accommodations for Kids with Sensory Issues

Moving with Special Needs Kids

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Paper-Based AAC FlipBooks: When, How, Why Do They Matter?

Paper-Based AAC FlipBooks: When, How, Why Do They Matter?

There are a number of resources for printed displays that are available for purchase or download.  Page-turning options that flip up or down are often a part of these systems. We have found that using paper-based displays helps slow down the process of selecting a message and provides the communication partner with additional time to talk about what the symbol may represent and clarify the intent of the message.

Use paper-based displays at the pool, in brightly lit rooms, and in darker rooms with a flashlight.  Use them when the high tech device is low on battery, or when the user doesn’t want to share his/her high tech device for aided language input.  Use with overlays and cut-outs for target with complete access to the full vocabulary when needed – faster than using hide/show in TouchChat and much like turning on/off Vocabulary Builder, Exploring vocabulary in Proloquo2Go when Progressive Language is turned on, and Babbling with SpeakForYourself.

AAC Flip Books – Where Can I  Find Some?

·       https://lessonpix.com - Subscribe and make your own materials or use the Sharing Center!

·       https://aaclanguagelab.com/resources/free - LAMP WFL, Unidad, Unity and PRC WordPower
·       www.project-core.com - Universal Core Displays (These are not flip books, just core)
Pixon Project Kit
·       http://www.region4store.com/Catalog.aspx?itmid=1329142 Teacher and Student Classroom Kits
·       https://saltillo.com/chatcorner/content/29 - NOVA Chat and TouchChat (PCS and SS options)
·       https://www.mytobiidynavox.com/Store/SnapCoreFirst As of version 1.11, even the free version of Snap + Core First app (no speech) prints pages from within the app 
Speak For Yourself (with category indexes, make your own flip book from device screen shots)
AAC-Communication-Flip-Book-and-Boards-2431089 by Super Power Speech
o   Motivate, Model, Move Out of the Way: How to implement AAC by Kate Ahern
o   AAC Picture Communication Book with Core and Fringe Vocabulary by Susan Berkowitz
o   AAC Flip Communication Book BUNDLE by RosieBeeSLP
o   AAC Communication Book by Speech Me Maybe
o   Core Vocabulary Binder Ring - Core Board Binder Ring AAC by Mrs Ds Corner
o   Low-Tech, Core Vocabulary Based, AAC Flip Boards by Speechy Musings

Ahern, Kate. http://www.slideshare.net/teechkidz/bringing-aac-home-fcsn
·       This PowerPoint slideshow, aimed at parents and caregivers, explains why and how aided language works in the home.
Allen, Schlosser, Brock & Shane (2017). The effectiveness of aided augmented input techniques for persons with developmental disabilities: a systematic review, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 33:3, 149-159, DOI: 10.1080/07434618.2017.1338752
Enders, Lauren.  Moving beyond a Common roadblock to Successful AAC Implementation. June/July, 2016 edition of Closing The Gap Solutions
Mary-Louise Bertram, guest blogger on www.janefarrall.com explains why modeling is so important for
       those beginning to use AAC: Why We Do Aided Language Stimulation - And You Should Too! 
Hatch, Geist, Erickson, Greer, & Erwin-Davidson.  ATIA, 2017. Using Core Vocabulary in Emergent  
       Literacy Instructional Routines.  www.project-core.com Professional Development Modules
Mirenda, P. (2008). "A back door approach to autism and AAC." Augmentative and Alternative Communication. 24, 219-233.
·       PrAACtical Resources: Video Examples of Aided Language Input - A collection of videos including therapists, educators, and families using Aided Language Input
·       PrAACtical AAC: Why We Love Aided Language Input - This article links to 4 research articles demonstrating the benefits of Aided Language Input.

Resource List prepared by Deanna K. Wagner, MS/CCC-SLP

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Phonological Awareness Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities Including CVI

Below is the link for the handout for the 2020 ATIA presentation on Phonological Awareness by Musselwhite and Hanser.

Phonological Awareness Handout

For information on the Singing to Learn CD contents, contact Caroline Musselwhite: